Local authority budget pressure threatening Lancaster’s Gillows collection at the Judges’ Lodgings
Time is rapidly running out to find a solution for the Judges’ Lodgings Museum in Lancaster, and its renowned collection of furniture by Gillows, the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ cabinet-maker. Against the brutal background of cuts to local authority budgets, Lancashire County Council needs to find ways to maintain statutory services. Sadly, but inevitably, saving are being made at the expense of ‘soft targets’ such as museums.
Stephen Deuchar in Art Quarterly (Spring 2016), welcomes the Chancellor’s announcement of ‘better news than expected for the UK’s 14 National Museums and Galleries’. But at the same time, he acknowledges the desperate plight of many of the nations museums under local authority care.
The two articles below highlight the particular plight of the internationally admired Judges’ Lodgings. Unless a solution is found by the end of March, the museum will close; the staff will be made redundant, and the collection will be mothballed.